This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
david’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Ahem.. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a complicated film? And no, I'm not talking about redeeming racist cops (it doesn't), I'm talking about the film itself. How it almost feels bipolar, to a certain extent. I will give you some examples of what I got:
We begin with a dumb opening, doesn't really affect the film at all, I just personally didn't care for it. So all of these characters get introduced to us, we get the idea, Mildred's daughter was raped while dying some months ago and the case as already gone cold. We get Mildred's character from there, a no nonsense type of southern woman that wants justice for her daughter. It's compelling and attachable for us as an audience. Therefore we're told (rather than shown) that cops are bad. Yada, yada, it's basically just Jason Dixon, he's a hot head, can't control his emotions, we learn more about him later. So everything's going kind of well, it's slow, somewhat engaging then we reach the 30 minute mark where that contrast in tone shows. It's a flashback scene to Mildred and her daughter, her son's there too. I guess it's supposed to be this dramatic scene, a mother/daughter argument, kind of the norm, right? But it literally ends with the daughter yelling "I hope I get raped!" And the mother saying she hopes too. I get the idea, it's just executed so poorly and unintentionally hilariously. There's also a part where the son, Robbie (I think) says "cunt" and Mildred says "there will be no more cunts in this house" to which Robbie replies "so you're moving out?" At least it's something along those lines, and I swear, it was fucking hilarious. But I thought the scene was supposed to be dramatic? We're supposed to feel that Mildred feels guilty?? But we have quips and unintentionally hilarious dialogue throughout, it's messy. I kind of paused after that scene just thinking what the fuck it was. And then, the following scene we're introduced to the dad, it's played like some straight dramatic intense scene, dad grabs mom by the throat, son pulls knife on dad, dad's 19 year old girlfriend (who looks exactly like a young brunette Margot Robbie) walks in and I kid you not, she fucking has quips about using the restroom. Like, what are you going for with this scene? Is this film a comedy? Because it's subject matter is quite serious and dramatic and it's played that way until the tone turns on it's fucking head. It's mind boggling, man. And it's like that the whole time. Nobody in the film seems to face consequences either, goddamn Sam Rockwell (Dixon) beats the shit out of a guy, throws him through a window and socks a woman. He gets fired? That's all. Nearly murdered a man and he just loses his job. It's almost like the film didn't want to deal with the consequences itself, the screen writer just said "ah fuck it. injured dude will give burnt Rockwell some OJ, they're cool." So, yeah. It's pretty polarizing. And I get I'm coming at it pretty hard, but it ain't all bad. The final 15 minutes is really good, it's not necessarily Dixon being redeemed for being a piece of shit rather than Dixon at this point, after getting the letter, trying to do something right. He never goes to the hood and tries to paint schools, he never even goes to the dude he beat up and puts a new window in for him, he legit goes to kill a guy. No redemption. And more of the good: umm, it looks nice. Good cinematography. Uh, some characters have there moments, the humor has its moments. It's not that bad, but the bad really sticks out. The person's of color torture line, the you got a nice cock line, like, is Woody Harrelson's wife in this Australian or something? What was up with her accent? The more I think about this, the more I think "whattttt?" That's how confusing it was, to me at least. I think a lot of people will have different interpretations of it, I went in with an open mind. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, I'm somewhere in the middle. I.. would recommend it, I'm curious what people think about it. It's a strange film, I think it just needed a few changes and it could've been this emotional story about the loss of a child, and the pain it brings you when there's no justice. Instead it gets caught up in all this other shit, had me thinking this was a 10 episode series shoved into a 2 hour film. That's all, thank you.